Thursday, June 4, 2009


After attending the evening Boot Camp sessions, I had a conflict in my schedule and could not attend. That meant I had to suck it up and attend the 6 a.m. Boot Camp Session because if I miss, I know I will be in more pain than ever. I have had three children through natural childbirth, including pushing one out who was the size of a huge watermelon, but this pain would be too much!

I live west of Florida City out by the Everglades. In order to make it on time to the early morning session and work, I decided that I need to pack my bag the night before with my clothes for work as I will have to shower and dress at the Y. After all, we are talking about 6 a.m. The time before the birds are up and this will seriously cut into my beauty sleep!

First of all, it is not easy to pack the night before because I don’t know if I’ll feel fat or not so fat in the morning. Which size do I select from my multi-size closet? Will I be bloated tomorrow morning? In addition, I have to pack soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, underwear, shoes and the trowel to apply my morning make-up! Add to that my two bottles or water and I go to bed and set that alarm for 5 a.m. It is then that I start having nightmares of things I may forget and it seems like every hour I am checking the time.

The alarm rings and it is still dark outside. I have to be crazy but I get up, put on my Boot Camp outfit, grab a yogurt, granola bar, take my vitamins and grab my bag and I am out the door. I arrive at the Y about 5:40 and as you can imagine, no sunrise yet! My mind tells me that normal people are still in bed! I am abnormal. I walk in, sign in and see there are instructions written on the sheet. Bring weights. I pick up weights and head to the gym.

As this was my first time in the morning class, I was really worried as I am being taken out of my comfort zone. Who would be there? Will I know anyone? Would everyone be looking at me? Could I do the exercises that these trainers threw at me? Should I be here? Will I be the laughing stock? My “fat lady mentality” (F.L.M.) was taking over again.

Oshun Marcella has us stretch and do warm-up exercises. Now you have to know at that time of the morning, Oshun looks like she has been up for hours and is ready and raring to go. At 6:05 a.m., a few people walk in. For every person who walks in late, we are made to do 10 push-ups and then say, “Thank you….Mary or John or whatever their name is.” As we continue, several more people come in late. My body begins to hate the door of the gym. It is drilled into our heads that 5:55 a.m. is being on time. Walking in the door at 6 a.m. is late. Oh Lord, I never want to be late! Soon Oshun notices that someone has a watch on and we are made to do more push-ups and thank the person. My arms feel like jelly, we have barely begun and I am just beginning to wake up!

Our group is divided up and half go to Nestor and half to Oshun. At the ½ hour point, we will switch to the other trainer. I am with Oshun. We do all sorts of demanding exercises and my body is still rebelling with screams of pain. The recruits who have been in the class assist in telling me how she wants our hands placed on the weights and how to do the other moves correctly so that we are not all made to do extra due to my error.

Nestor then takes over our group. Nestor is the youngest of the trainers and I call him the Youngster. He teases me about that and I am grateful he doesn’t call me the “old lady.” To Nestor, I am simply “D.” Before class starts, Nestor looks like Dracula just waiting to draw blood. At this point, that would be o.k. but he really wants my entire body! Hey. That’s a good point. I can tell others that there is a young man who wants my body! Unfortunately, he wants to put it through an endurance test like no other. You can just look at Nestor and tell that he enjoys his job. He loves to do suicide drills. Run and touch this line. Run back. Squat. Get down lower! The youngster keeps us moving non-stop. Nestor keeps telling me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth. Either my nose is too small or it is filled with too many boogies (yes...I said boogies) because I just cannot get enough air into my lungs! I really want to swear but end up with the saying, “frick and frack and frick and frack” when I am pushed to my limit. You can use you imagination and translate that! After what seems like an eternity, class is over. Both Oshun and Nestor tell me I did a good job. Again the fat old lady wonders if I really belong here. I stagger to the showers.

After showering, I realize I forgot my hair brush. Oh great! I decide that I am getting my hair cut shorter so I don’t have to worry about blow drying my hair before work! My new Boot Camp Doo!

Walking out of the Y at 7:30 a.m. when everyone else is just starting their day feels amazing. I feel refreshed. Maybe the shower woke me up. Suddenly I feel like I had accomplished a lot and my body feels full of energy. It is a natural high and starts the day off on the right foot. I will go again to the morning class.

I am a recruit in the YMCA Boot Camp and maybe…just maybe….I deserve to be there?

Please look for the next article in this series to follow shortly.

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